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BOSSES AXE TOP KIDS TV SERIES. Daily Star 20th June 2003


ITV1 Has scrapped its Saturday morning kids' show - because Big Brother star Brian Dowling has decided to leave. Bosses at SM:tv Live say the Irish man's departure will lose the programme so many viewers that there's no point carrying on.

The other presenters and production staff have been told the programme will be binned at Christmas.

The children's mix of star interviews and competitions has been losing the ratings war with the BBC's The Saturday Show since Ant and Dec quit as SM:tv live hosts 18 months ago. The figures improved when show bosses signed Brian, who shot to fame by winning C4's second series of Big Brother in summer 2001, but the popular reality tv star's decision to quit last month has left chiefs with a huge problem. He will take his final bow in August.


And now Brian's co star Tess Daly is also said to be thinking of abandoning the failing show.
"We've been struggling to pull in viewers since Ant and Dec left." said an SM:tv insider. "Without Brian it has no chance. Tess hasn't decided if she'll stay on past August yet, but it's unlikely."

Show chiefs have signed contracts to continue making the programme for 6 months - but the last edition is likely to be shot at Christmas. At the height of it's success, SM:tv was bagging audiences of 2 million - but recent ratings are just half that.

ITV1's decision will change the face of Saturday Morning TV, after the Daily Star revealed 2 weeks ago that the BBC bosses were scrapping The Saturday Show.

A spokesman for SM:tv said: "We have been extended until Christmas. No decision has yet been made".

01 Aug 2003 by admin

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